Revue : Avian biology
SCHMALTZ L., CEZILLY F. & BECHET A*.
Bird reproductive performance often increases with age or experience as a result of improved foraging skills, increased reproductive effort, improved coordination between partners, or a selection process. However, it remains unclear whether age and/or experience affect equally the successive steps of the breeding process, from egg laying to incubation and chick rearing. Using data from a long-term study of the Camargue (southern France) population of the greater flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus, we studied the influence of age on step-specific breeding performances during a single breeding season. We used, for the first time, multistate recapture models to evaluate the effect of age on breeding attendance (as a surrogate for breeding success) during incubation, early chick rearing and late chick rearing. Our results show a significant positive influence of age on breeding attendance, but only during the incubation period. Older parents had a higher probability than younger ones of completing incubation, whereas after the chick had hatched, the influence of parental age on breeding attendance was no longer significant. Although a high rate of nest desertion by younger flamingos during the middle of the incubation period coincided with a period of heavy rainfall, including rainfall level as a covariate did not improve the fit of the models. We discuss our results in relation to the evolution of life-history strategies in long-lived bird species and the influence of environmental instability.
Référence bibliographique complète :
Schmaltz L., Cezilly F. & Béchet A., 2011. Using multistate recapture modelling to assess age-specific bottlenecks in breeding success: a case study in the greater flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus. J Avian Biol 42 p178-186
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